We already knew that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in 2003. We are now getting more and more evidence that there simply is no weapons program in Iran either.
Let's start with Iraq. Most people think that the U.S. found out there were no WMD when it invaded Iraq. This is false. The truth appears in this excellent article on how economic sanctions wreaked havoc on Iraq (http://www.counterpunch.org/andrew07162010.html).
Here is what Andrew Cockburn wrote on what we knew:
"The economic strangulation of Iraq was justified on the basis of Saddam’s supposed possession of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Year after year, UN inspectors combed Iraq in search of evidence that these WMD existed. But after 1991, the first year of inspections, when the infrastructure of Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme was detected and destroyed, along with missiles and an extensive arsenal of chemical weapons, nothing more was ever found. Given Saddam’s record of denying the existence of his nuclear project (his chemical arsenal was well known; he had used it extensively in the Iran-Iraq war, with US approval) the inspectors had strong grounds for suspicion, at least until August 1995. That was when Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law and the former overseer of his weapons programmes, suddenly defected to Jordan, where he was debriefed by the CIA, MI6 and Unscom. In those interviews he made it perfectly clear that the entire stock of WMD had been destroyed in 1991, a confession that his interlocutors, including the UN inspectors, took great pains to conceal from the outside world."
In other words, Saddam Hussein had no WMD since 1991, which we knew as of 1995. During that time, Clinton repeatedly bombed Iraq, and the U.N. put crippling sanctions on Iraq. When Clinton lied, people really did die.
Now, a new story has come out. An Iranian defector Shahram Amiri, apparently told the CIA that there is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. While Amiri was supposedly a low level informant who never had access to the same kind of information that Kamel did, this information squares with the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate and its recent reaffirmation that Iran hasn't been working on a nuclear weapons program since 2003 (if we assume it was working on one then). Here is the full article link to this story: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/07/19-5.
I have asked the question: "Why should we declare countries "threats" and declare war on them if they have WMD when the U.S. has the largest stockpile of such weapons in the world?" But it turns out, this notion of "secret weapons programs" in countries that do not currently have WMD is a lie the U.S. government knows its false. It's easy to sit here and say that a certain regime is dishonest and therefore how do we trust they are not building WMD? But the truth is that 1. U.N. inspection regimes work and 2. Never trust our government, which has the worst record when it comes to honesty.